Poway Historical Timeline

Native Period Pre-1769

5800 years ago – Early arrivals
3400 years ago – Permanent Indian villages
1500 years ago – Kumeyaay Indians arrive, dominant until white settlers

Spanish/Mission Period 1769-1821

Little affected by Spanish
Cattle from the San Diego Mission grazed in Valley
Mission Indians & Kumeyaay Indians begin joining together

Mexican Period 1821-1848

There is no immediate change in the Valley.
Cattle grazing still continues until Mexico takes over mission lands and property
1830s – Rosario Aguilar applied for the land grant of Rancho Paguay
Land grant never finalized due to lack of completion of requirements.

Pioneer Period 1855-1900s

Phillip Crosthwaite, believed to be the first white resident, built a home in 1859
More homesteaders began to arrive in the Valley.
Dr. Louis N. Hilleary arrived in Poway in 1882, becoming the town’s first medical doctor.
In the 1890s there was a real estate boom, fueled by the prospect of the railroad coming through town and the valley really began growing.
When the proposed railroads did not come, the valley lost much of its population.
Farming started to become more dominant and free-ranging cattle left the Valley

Farming Period 1900-1955

Farming becomes the main occupation
Many types of crops, fruits and grains were grown in Poway. There were also dairy farms.
Population increased greatly as the Valley became known for its agriculture.
Rainfall and wells still provided the water needed for this type of farming. When drought made water for farming less and less available, residents began looking for a new and permanent source.

Toward Cityhood 1955-1980

The residents voted to form the Poway Municipal Water District, Bringing water from the Colorado River aqueduct in 1954
Sewer system and treatment plant was developed beginning in 1957.
The presence of water and sewer meant that tract homes could be built, beginning in 1958 with Poway Valley Homes along Pomerado Rd.
Population growth increases tremendously as new schools, housing tracts, roads and shopping are built.
Poway remains an unincorporated community, governed by the County of San Diego.


Residents vote to incorporate as the City of Poway.

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